Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Probation officers, victims push for tougher supervision of offenders - The Denver Post

Probation officers, victims push for tougher supervision of offenders - The Denver Post

Colorado probation officers and crime victims say the state must toughen the supervision of violent offenders and improve working conditions for officers for the sake of public safety.

Several officers say they are overwhelmed by their caseloads and don't always feel safe interacting with offenders they are charged with supervising.

Ten probationers in the past 10 months have been accused of murder or attempted murder, despite stringent requirements imposed by the courts. The crimes include the March 18 fatal shooting of college football player Tom Walker in Boulder, the killing of a Weld County sheriff's deputy and the death of a 16-year-old Denver girl who was mutilated.

Tom Quinn, director of the state's Division of Probation Services, said that despite those crimes, the percentage of intensive supervised probationers who re-offend is going down.

Since 2002, the percentage of those on intensive supervised probation who commit new crimes has ranged from 15.2 percent to 10.5 percent — the lowest point occurring in 2010.

"Victim and staff frustration is understandable," Quinn said. "While I cannot speak for all victims, many want to be made whole and they want to be assured that this crime does not happen to someone else. We can't often return victims to a pre-crime state, but we did collect over $25 million in restitution last year."

Probation officers in charge of the most high-risk offenders are supposed to be limited to 25 cases or fewer, but they often have more.

Quinn said that over the past four years, the Division of Probation Services has increased probation staff — to 90 percent of the authorized strength — which has helped the department come closer to the ratio required to supervise the state's 85,000 offenders.

Read more: Probation officers, victims push for tougher supervision of offenders - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17877543#ixzz1JyH7Ezuj
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